Larne dent Linfield’s title hopes at Inver Park

Larne's Mark Randall celebrates his goal. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Larne's Mark Randall celebrates his goal. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Larne put a dent in Linfield’s title hopes with a comprehensive 3-1 victory at Inver Park.

The Invermen were full value for their win, which saw them recover from Jordan Stewart’s second-minute goal.

They roared back to level within a minute through Mark Randall, before Davy McDaid fired them ahead and Harry Flowers headed in a third in the second half.

Good work from Kirk Millar on the right flank allowed him to swing a dangerous cross into the box, and Jordan Stewart took advantage of indecision in the back line to steer the in at the near post to give Linfield the perfect start.

However, the home side composed themselves to level within a minute.

Randall picked up the ball on the edge of the Linfield box and floated it across the face of goal. The presence of Davy McDaid, who it may have brushed off, seemed to put goalkeeper Rohan Ferguson off, and the ball ended up nestling inside the far post.

The blistering start continued and it was the home side who took the lead on 17 minutes, with the same two players involved.

This time ex-Arsenal and MK Dons player Randall turned provider, as he slipped a lovely through-ball to McDaid just inside the box, who lashed it into the roof of the net.

Larne should have extended their lead three minutes before the break, after great work from McDaid on the left, who outmuscled Josh Robinson and cut in to cross for Randall, but his effort from eight yards struck the bar.

After the break Larne had half chances through Jeff Hughes and Tomas Cosgrove, both heading over from corners.

It was no surprise then that it was a headed goal which added to Larne’s lead on 71 minutes. Marty Donnelly’s free-kick on the left flank was met by the head of defender Harry Flowers.

Larne: Devlin, Flowers, Watson, Sule, Randall (76 mins, Tilney), McDaid, Donnelly, Lynch, Cosgrove, Hughes, Jarvis

Unused subs: Mitchell, Kelly, Ramsey, Andrade, Gilmour, Herron

Linfield: Ferguson, Robinson, Callacher, Cooper (68 mins, Currie) Stewart, Millar, Lavery, Clarke, Fallon, Hery (60 mins, McClean), Boyle (60 mins, Quinn)

Unused subs: Moore, Stafford, Shevlin, Kearns, Quinn

Referee: Keith Kennedy